I started volunteering with Katie in July of 2011. It started out where I was visiting her and taking her to doctor's appointments and grocery shopping. Then we were including her in Holiday gatherings as she became a part of our family.
She is such a blessing to me and my family. She is a very sweet, generous and strong woman. After being married for 60 years, her husband passed away. She had no children and her remaining family all lived in Japan.
It's because of Na Hoaloha that someone in this situation would be able to be matched up with a friend. I really feel God set us this friendship. I learned a lot from her and am so glad she has been a part of my life! I wish you all well and thank you for being part of such a great organization.
Review from Guidestar
I want to share what I consider a very important story about Na Hoaloha and my experience with this GREAT organization. I quit my job about 5 years ago. I have worked since I was 16 years old and now I am a senior citizen here on Maui. Since I had worked all of my life I felt the need to do something besides just sitting home and taking it easy so I checked with Kaunoa RSVP to see what kind of volunteer work was available. I have always wanted to “help others” but was too busy with work to do anything.
I met with Gerri Shapiro from Na Hoaloha - Neighbors Helping Neighbors and was happy to find out there was a need. I have always worked in an office and was good on the phone with people so I started with calling people who were homebound or people who just wanted a “friend” to talk to.
I have talked with a young man in Lahaina who was disabled and had no family here on Maui. I talked with an older woman in Haiku who just wanted someone to talk to so she didn’t feel lonely. I talked to a man who lost his wife last year and was feeling down and lonely. I had so much FUN talking to these people and guess what?? It made me feel better too!
One day as I was talking to Gerri I asked her since I live alone here what would I do if something were ever to happen to me. She said “you’ll call us and we will help you”. I never forgot that sentence because I knew if I had a problem that I could call Neighbors Helping Neighbors.
I wish that this was the end of the story but........ two months ago I had a horrific car accident. My car was totaled and so was I. I had one of my friends call Na Hoaloha to tell them that I could not continue to make my calls because I was in the hospital without a phone. They called the man that I was talking to as part of my volunteer work and he came to the hospital to visit ME! It meant so much to me and showed me what a difference you can make by volunteering.
The end of my story shows what good comes from volunteering . I have been home for a little over a month now (after spending a month in hospitals). My friends were trying to help me, but I could see that it was becoming too much for them. So I called Na Hoaloha and asked for help.
I don’t know what I would have done without them. My two volunteers are Irene and Art. They are wonderful, caring people who have taken me to my doctor appointments (I have had over 20 appointments since I got out of the hospital, and I have many more to come).
All though all 3 of us are disabled, we still help others. Just putting a smile on someone’s face is part of volunteering. I found that out when I spent time at Hale Makua. There were so many people sitting there all alone and I took the time to stop and talk to them. I am sure that it helped me to recover faster as it put a smile on my face too.
Thank you Na Hoaloha!